Sunset Over a Mosque in Quebec City

Sunset Over a Mosque in Quebec City

“You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.”
Rainier Maria Rilke, Sunset

Tonight, we ask questions of God.
The sun rose in the East this morning
and cast a long shadow to the West.

We know their hands pressed to the floor
as the sun set red over a mosque in Quebec City,
but by nightfall, they would not rise again.

Even with faith we have no answers. We try to find
understanding through our shared rituals
of mourning and remembering:

a community clasps hands around a city block,
a gathering light candles to overcome what haunts us,
a family prepares to bury their loved ones.

This sunset is a dark red stain on the aged cotton of their clothes.
We sink low to the earth drowned in the blackest of nights—
we look for stars, but with heads bowed,

we see none.

Fire Behaviour by Judith Skillman

About Lindsay Kwan

Lindsay Kwan attended the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University in 2013, focusing on narrative non-fiction. She holds a Master of Arts degree in professional communication and completed her thesis, #AmWriting: How Authors Negotiate their Individual Creative Labour on Social Media. She is a former editorial board member for Room Magazine and has also facilitated numerous poetry workshops for Pandora’s Collective around Vancouver.

About Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman is interested in feelings engendered by the natural world. Her medium is oil on canvas and oil on board; her works range from representational to abstract. Her art has appeared in Minerva Rising, Cirque, The Penn Review, The Remembered Arts and elsewhere. She has studied at the Pratt Fine Arts Center and the Seattle Artist’s League under the mentorship of Ruthie V. Shows include The Pratt and Galvanize. Visit

One thought on “Sunset Over a Mosque in Quebec City

  1. mom

    Great poem – made me really think.


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